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MDAs must embrace monitoring and evaluation systems — Kwasi Sabi

BY: Salomey Appiah-Adjei
The Deputy Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr William Kwasi Sabi, delivering an address at the workshop
The Deputy Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr William Kwasi Sabi, delivering an address at the workshop

The Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) has come up with a policy framework to guide monitoring and evaluation of ministries, departments and agencies.

The policy will guide decisions that are taken with regard to all national development programmes, projects and public investments.

When approved, the M&E policy will be used in determining good governance processes and to assess if all state projects and programmes, including those executed by local assemblies, are worth the money spent on them.

Opening the final validation workshop on M&E in Accra last Friday, the Deputy Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr William Kwasi Sabi, said monitoring and evaluation had a strong relationship with policy formulation, planning and budgeting.

The challenges

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However, he said, in spite of the relationship there was no uniformed regulations on M&E in the country to provide valuable feedback and lessons for continuous improvements in development policies, plans and budgets.

That, Mr Sabi noted, had resulted in the fragmentation of M&E systems with many reports not complying with standards and rarely used for decision making.

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“Most evaluations conducted are donor-driven but the culture of using evaluation to assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of government programmes and projects is non-existent in this country,” he stated.

The Deputy Minister mentioned weak institutional arrangements, lack of integration and harmonisation, limited capacity for monitoring and evaluation and low utilisation of evidence for decision making as some of the challenges with the current assessment systems.

“The limited capacity for the practice of monitoring and evaluation compromises the quality of reports produced,” he said.

Objectives

Under the circumstances, Mr Sabi said, the policy would introduce generation and use of evidence in decision making at all levels as well as provide a structure, including institutional arrangements, that are well coordinated for undertaking the task of monitoring and evaluation.

The Deputy Minister said the objective of the policy is to help deepen understanding of monitoring and evaluation in Ghana.

“It will enhance the demand and utilisation of M&E results in policy formulation and decision making at all levels, promote the culture of evaluation and its use as a tool to ensure prudent use of public funds in all development interventions,” he said.

Public funds

A senior lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Dr Charles Amoatey, who is the Lead Facilitator of the policy framework, said it would be implemented by all government agencies that use public funds.

He said with the policy, all government intervention programmes would be required to prepare plans for M&E, while it will be demanded of institutional heads to support the framework by championing its establishment and operationalisation.

The Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, said the policy framework would help in assessing whether proposed targets were being met or not and to also identify achievements, constraints and challenges in order that improvements could be made to achieve better results.